Last week Hillary Clinton told CBS’ Scott Pelley she’s “always tried to tell the truth.” She continued, “Well, I have to tell you I have tried in every way I know how literally from my years as a young lawyer all the way through my time as secretary of state to level with the American people.”
Likewise, in 1998 President Bill Clinton testified before a federal grand jury. He was questioned about the oath he took to tell the truth. It was believed that earlier year the POTUS lied under oath about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky during his Paula Jones deposition. He was asked if the oath he took in the deposition meant the same thing as it does that day during the grand jury testimony. President Clinton responded, “I swore an oath to tell the truth and I believed I was bound to be truthful and I tried to be.”
The word “tried” means a person attempted but failed to do it.
The President is telling us that he tried but failed to be truthful in his Paula Jones deposition. He didn’t respond by saying, “I was bound to be truthful and I was truthful.” He couldn’t say that because people do not want to lie.
Technically the Clintons were being honest when they said they tried to tell the truth. Although, by doing so, doesn’t that mean they were being honest by saying they lied?